Dave's V.I.F Mass Building Program

This program tackles 3 of the 5 different types of workouts that will hopefully keep your body growing in the right direction. Each phase is 4 weeks.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
4
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Male & Female

Workout Description

This program tackles three of the five different types of workout programs that will hopefully keep your body growing in the right direction: Volume Dominant, Intensity Dominant, and Frequency Dominant or V.I.F for short. Each phase is 4 weeks long for a total of 12 weeks.

VOLUME DOMINANT PHASE

In the first phase or the "Volume Dominant" phase we utilize a high number of sets per muscle group to stimulate growth. Before the 4 weeks are up the number of sets you perform for most muscle groups will grow from 8 sets to 20 sets.

Because of the high volume of work for a muscle group, only one or two muscle groups can be trained in a session which also means that you can (and should) train each muscle group only once per week.

Workout Volume For Large Muscle Groups (Small Muscle groups):

  • Week 1 = 2 Sets of 10 Reps Per Exercise (Same)
  • Week 2 = 3 Sets of 8 Reps Per Exercise (Same)
  • Week 3 = 4 Sets of 6 Reps Per Exercise (No More than 10 Total sets)
  • Week 4 = 5 Sets of 6 Reps Per Exercise (No More than 10 Total sets)

Rest 60 seconds between sets in weeks 1 and 2, 90 seconds in weeks 3 and 4.

INTENSITY DOMINANT PHASE

The second phase or the "Intensity-Dominant" phase revolves around the use of heavy weights, in the 80-90% range. Reps are in the 6 - 8 range. During this phase, the number of sets per exercise is fairly high but the overall volume of work is fairly low because you focus only on 1-2 exercises per muscle group. Because overall training volume is low for each muscle group we will work each muscle twice a week, splitting the workouts into Upper and Lower body.

Each week you should aim for slight increases in the weight you are using for each exercise.

Workout Volume:

  • Week 1 = 3 Sets of 8 Reps
  • Week 2 = 3 Sets of 8 Reps (increase weight)
  • Week 3 = 4 Sets of 6 Reps (increase weight)
  • Week 4 = 4 Sets of 6 Reps (increase weight)

Rest 60 Seconds between sets in weeks 1 and 2, 90 Seconds in weeks 3 and 4

FREQUENCY DOMINANT PHASE

The last phase or the "Frequency Dominant" phase relies on training each muscle group more frequently, 3 times per week. It works by improving neural drive to the muscle and 'forcing' the body to add muscle because it needs them to work hard almost every day. With this type of training the volume of work needs to be super low to avoid overtraining. You will do 3 "Whole Body" workouts.

You will use "Undulating Reps" which means the rep ranges for the particular whole body workout will change each week, giving your body an extra shock.

Workout Volume:

  • Week 1 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 6 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 10 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 12 Reps
  • Week 2 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 10 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 12 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 6 Reps
  • Week 3 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 12 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 6 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 10 Reps
  • Week 4 = Workout A - 2 Sets of 6 Reps, Workout B - 2 Sets of 10 Reps, Workout C - 2 Sets of 12 Reps.

Workout Loads:

  • 2 Sets of 6 Reps - 85% of 1 RM - Rest 90 Seconds Between Sets
  • 2 Sets of 10 Reps - 75% of 1 RM - Rest 60 Seconds Between Sets
  • 2 Sets of 12 Reps - 65% of 1 RM - Rest 30 Seconds Between Sets

The Workouts

Volume Phase - Week 1

Week 1 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP      
2 Barbell Rows 10 10      
3 Seated Cable Rows 10 10      
4 Hyper Extensions 10 10      
5A Upright Rows 10 10      
5B Dumbbell Shrugs 10 10      
Week 1 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Bench Press 10 10      
2A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 10 10      
2B Decline Pushups AMAP AMAP      
3 Dumbbell Military Press 10 10      
4 Dumbbell Rear Laterals 10 10      
Week 1 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squat 10 10      
2 Leg Press 10 10      
3 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 10 10      
4 Dumbbell Step Ups 10 10      
5 Standing Calf Raise 10 10      
Week 1 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Barbell Curls 10 10      
2 Close Grip Bench Press 10 10      
3A Lying Tricep Extension 10 10      
3B Standing Dumbbell Curls 10 10      
4A Preacher Curls 10 10      
4B Tricep Kickbacks 10 10      

Volume Phase - Week 2

Increase Weight and Number of Sets, Decrease Reps

Week 2 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP    
2 Barbell Rows 8 8 8    
3 Seated Cable Rows 8 8 8    
4 Hyper Extensions 8 8 8    
5A Upright Rows 8 8 8    
5B Dumbbell Shrugs 8 8 8    
Week 2 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Bench Press 8 8 8    
2A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 8 8 8    
2B Decline Pushups AMAP AMAP AMAP    
3 Dumbbell Military Press 8 8 8    
4 Dumbbell Rear Laterals 8 8 8    
Week 2 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squat 8 8 8    
2 Leg Press 8 8 8    
3 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 8 8 8    
4 Dumbbell Step Ups 8 8 8    
5 Standing Calf Raise 8 8 8    
Week 2 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Barbell Curls 8 8 8    
2 Close Grip Bench Press 8 8 8    
3A Lying Tricep Extension 8 8 8    
3B Standing Dumbbell Curls 8 8 8    
4A Preacher Curls 8 8 8    
4B Tricep Kickbacks 8 8 8    

Volume Phase - Week 3

Increase Weight and Number of Sets, Decrease Reps

Week 3 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP  
2 Barbell Rows 6 6 6 6  
3 Seated Cable Rows 6 6 6 6  
4 Hyper Extensions 6 6 6 6  
5A Upright Rows 6 6 6 6  
5B Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6 6 6  
Week 3 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
2A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
2B Decline Pushups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP  
3 Dumbbell Military Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Dumbbell Rear Laterals 6 6 6 6  
Week 3 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squat 6 6 6 6  
2 Leg Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 6 6 6 6  
4 Dumbbell Step Ups 6 6 6 6  
5 Standing Calf Raise 6 6 6 6  
Week 3 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Barbell Curls 6 6 6 6  
2 Close Grip Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3A Lying Tricep Extension 6 6 6    
3B Standing Dumbbell Curls 6 6 6    
4A Preacher Curls 6 6 6    
4B Tricep Kickbacks 6 6 6    

Volume Phase - Week 4

Increase Weight and Number of Sets, Reps Remain The Same

Week 4 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP
2 Barbell Rows 6 6 6 6 6
3 Seated Cable Rows 6 6 6 6 6
4 Hyper Extensions 6 6 6 6 6
5A Upright Rows 6 6 6 6 6
5B Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6 6 6 6
Week 4 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Bench Press 6 6 6 6 6
2A Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6 6 6 6
2B Decline Pushups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP
3 Dumbbell Military Press 6 6 6 6 6
4 Dumbbell Rear Laterals 6 6 6 6 6
Week 4 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squat 6 6 6 6 6
2 Leg Press 6 6 6 6 6
3 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 6 6 6 6 6
4 Dumbbell Step Ups 6 6 6 6 6
5 Standing Calf Raise 6 6 6 6 6
Week 4 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Barbell Curls 6 6 6 6 6
2 Close Grip Bench Press 6 6 6 6 6
3A Lying Tricep Extension 6 6 6    
3B Standing Dumbbell Curls 6 6 6    
4A Preacher Curls 6 6      
4B Tricep Kickbacks 6 6      

Intensity Phase - Week 5

Upper & Lower Body Workouts Twice a Week

Week 5 - Day 1
Back and Traps
  Back and Traps Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP    
2 Bench Press 8 8 8    
3 Military Press 8 8 8    
4 Barbell Shrug 8 8 8    
5 Lying Tricep Extension 8 8 8    
6 Hammer Curls 8 8 8    
Week 5 - Day 2
Chest and Shoulders
  Chest and Shoulders Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 8 8 8    
2 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 8 8 8    
3 Seated Calf Raises 8 8 8    
4 Weighted Crunches 8 8 8    
5 Cable Pull Ins 8 8 8    
Week 5 - Day 3
Legs
  Legs Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Lat Pull Downs 8 8 8    
2 Incline Bench Press 8 8 8    
3 Arnold Press 8 8 8    
4 Dumbbell Shrugs 8 8 8    
5 Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 8 8 8    
6 Incline Dumbbell Curls 8 8 8    
Week 5 - Day 4
Arms
  Arms Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 8 8 8    
2 Dumbbell Lunges 8 8 8    
3 Standing Calf Raise 8 8 8    
4 Knee Raise w/Medicine Ball 8 8 8    
5 Reverse One Leg Crunch 8 8 8    

Intensity Phase - Week 6

Increase Weight. Sets and Reps Stay the Same.

Week 6 - Day 1
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP    
2 Bench Press 8 8 8    
3 Military Press 8 8 8    
4 Barbell Shrug 8 8 8    
5 Lying Tricep Extension 8 8 8    
6 Hammer Curls 8 8 8    
Week 6 - Day 2
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 8 8 8    
2 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 8 8 8    
3 Seated Calf Raises 8 8 8    
4 Weighted Crunches 8 8 8    
5 Cable Pull Ins 8 8 8    
Week 6 - Day 3
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Lat Pull Downs 8 8 8    
2 Incline Bench Press 8 8 8    
3 Arnold Press 8 8 8    
4 Dumbbell Shrugs 8 8 8    
5 Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 8 8 8    
6 Incline Dumbbell Curls 8 8 8    
Week 6 - Day 4
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 8 8 8    
2 Dumbbell Lunges 8 8 8    
3 Standing Calf Raise 8 8 8    
4 Knee Raise w/Medicine Ball 8 8 8    
5 Reverse One Leg Crunch 8 8 8    

Intensity Phase - Week 7

Increase Weight, Add a Set and Reduce Reps to 6

Week 7 - Day 1
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP  
2 Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Military Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Barbell Shrug 6 6 6 6  
5 Lying Tricep Extension 6 6 6 6  
6 Hammer Curls 6 6 6 6  
Week 7 - Day 2
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 6 6 6 6  
2 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 6 6 6 6  
3 Seated Calf Raises 6 6 6 6  
4 Weighted Crunches 6 6 6 6  
5 Cable Pull Ins 6 6 6 6  
Week 7 - Day 3
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Lat Pull Downs 6 6 6 6  
2 Incline Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Arnold Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6 6 6  
5 Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 6 6 6 6  
6 Incline Dumbbell Curls 6 6 6 6  
Week 7 - Day 4
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 6 6 6 6  
2 Dumbbell Lunges 6 6 6 6  
3 Standing Calf Raise 6 6 6 6  
4 Knee Raise w/Medicine Ball 6 6 6 6  
5 Reverse One Leg Crunch 6 6 6 6  

Intensity Phase - Week 8

Increase Weight, Sets and Reps Stay The Same

Week 8 - Day 1
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Pull Ups AMAP AMAP AMAP AMAP  
2 Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Military Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Barbell Shrug 6 6 6 6  
5 Lying Tricep Extension 6 6 6 6  
6 Hammer Curls 6 6 6 6  
Week 8 - Day 2
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 6 6 6 6  
2 Stiff Legged Deadlifts 6 6 6 6  
3 Seated Calf Raises 6 6 6 6  
4 Weighted Crunches 6 6 6 6  
5 Cable Pull Ins 6 6 6 6  
Week 8 - Day 3
Upper Body
  Upper Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Lat Pull Downs 6 6 6 6  
2 Incline Bench Press 6 6 6 6  
3 Arnold Press 6 6 6 6  
4 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6 6 6  
5 Dumbbell Tricep Extensions 6 6 6 6  
6 Incline Dumbbell Curls 6 6 6 6  
Week 8 - Day 4
Lower Body
  Lower Body Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 6 6 6 6  
2 Dumbbell Lunges 6 6 6 6  
3 Standing Calf Raise 6 6 6 6  
4 Knee Raise w/Medicine Ball 6 6 6 6  
5 Reverse One Leg Crunch 6 6 6 6  

Frequency Phase - Week 9

Full Body Workouts, 3 Times Per Week, Undulating Reps

Week 9 - Day 1
Full Body Workout A
  Full Body Workout A Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 6 6      
2 Stiff Leg Deadlifts 6 6      
3 Seated Calf Raise 6 6      
4 Seated Cable Row 6 6      
5 Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6      
6 Dumbbell Shoulder Press 6 6      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6      
8 Dumbbell Tricep Extension 6 6      
9 Barbell Bicep Curls 6 6      
Week 9 - Day 2
Full Body Workout B
  Full Body Workout B Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 10 10      
2 Leg Curls 10 10      
3 Seated Calf Raise 10 10      
4 One Arm Dumbbell Row 10 10      
5 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 10 10      
6 Military Press 10 10      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 10 10      
8 Tricep Pushdowns 10 10      
9 Dumbbell Hammer Curls 10 10      
Week 9 - Day 3
Full Body Workout C
  Full Body Workout C Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Dumbbell Lunges 12 12      
2 Dumbbell Step Ups 12 12      
3 Barbell Rows 12 12      
4 Barbell Bench Press 12 12      
5 Arnold Press 12 12      
6 Rear Delt Raise 12 12      
7 Upright Row 12 12      
8 Lying Tricep Extension 12 12      
9 Preacher Curls 12 12      

Frequency Phase - Week 10

Full Body Workouts, 3 Times Per Week, Undulating Reps

Week 10 - Day 1
Full Body Workout A
  Full Body Workout A Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 10 10      
2 Stiff Leg Deadlifts 10 10      
3 Seated Calf Raise 10 10      
4 Seated Cable Row 10 10      
5 Dumbbell Bench Press 10 10      
6 Dumbbell Shoulder Press 10 10      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 10 10      
8 Dumbbell Tricep Extension 10 10      
9 Barbell Bicep Curls 10 10      
Week 10 - Day 2
Full Body Workout B
  Full Body Workout B Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 12 12      
2 Leg Curls 12 12      
3 Seated Calf Raise 12 12      
4 One Arm Dumbbell Row 12 12      
5 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 12 12      
6 Military Press 12 12      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 12 12      
8 Tricep Pushdowns 12 12      
9 Dumbbell Hammer Curls 12 12      
Week 10 - Day 3
Full Body Workout C
  Full Body Workout C Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Dumbbell Lunges 6 6      
2 Dumbbell Step Ups 6 6      
3 Barbell Rows 6 6      
4 Barbell Bench Press 6 6      
5 Arnold Press 6 6      
6 Rear Delt Raise 6 6      
7 Upright Row 6 6      
8 Lying Tricep Extension 6 6      
9 Preacher Curls 6 6      

Frequency Phase - Week 11

Full Body Workouts, 3 Times Per Week, Undulating Reps

Week 11 - Day 1
Full Body Workout A
  Full Body Workout A Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 12 12      
2 Stiff Leg Deadlifts 12 12      
3 Seated Calf Raise 12 12      
4 Seated Cable Row 12 12      
5 Dumbbell Bench Press 12 12      
6 Dumbbell Shoulder Press 12 12      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 12 12      
8 Dumbbell Tricep Extension 12 12      
9 Barbell Bicep Curls 12 12      
Week 11 - Day 2
Full Body Workout B
  Full Body Workout B Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 6 6      
2 Leg Curls 6 6      
3 Seated Calf Raise 6 6      
4 One Arm Dumbbell Row 6 6      
5 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6      
6 Military Press 6 6      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6      
8 Tricep Pushdowns 6 6      
9 Dumbbell Hammer Curls 6 6      
Week 11 - Day 3
Full Body Workout C
  Full Body Workout C Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Dumbbell Lunges 10 10      
2 Dumbbell Step Ups 10 10      
3 Barbell Rows 10 10      
4 Barbell Bench Press 10 10      
5 Arnold Press 10 10      
6 Rear Delt Raise 10 10      
7 Upright Row 10 10      
8 Lying Tricep Extension 10 10      
9 Preacher Curls 10 10      

Frequency Phase - Week 12

Full Body Workouts, 3 Times Per Week, Undulating Reps

Week 12 - Day 1
Full Body Workout A
  Full Body Workout A Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Squats 6 6      
2 Stiff Leg Deadlifts 6 6      
3 Seated Calf Raise 6 6      
4 Seated Cable Row 6 6      
5 Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6      
6 Dumbbell Shoulder Press 6 6      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 6 6      
8 Dumbbell Tricep Extension 6 6      
9 Barbell Bicep Curls 6 6      
Week 12 - Day 2
Full Body Workout B
  Full Body Workout B Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Leg Press 10 10      
2 Leg Curls 10 10      
3 Seated Calf Raise 10 10      
4 One Arm Dumbbell Row 10 10      
5 Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 10 10      
6 Military Press 10 10      
7 Dumbbell Shrugs 10 10      
8 Tricep Pushdowns 10 10      
9 Dumbbell Hammer Curls 10 10      
Week 12 - Day 3
Full Body Workout C
  Full Body Workout C Reps Reps Reps Reps Reps
1 Dumbbell Lunges 12 12      
2 Dumbbell Step Ups 12 12      
3 Barbell Rows 12 12      
4 Barbell Bench Press 12 12      
5 Arnold Press 12 12      
6 Rear Delt Raise 12 12      
7 Upright Row 12 12      
8 Lying Tricep Extension 12 12      
9 Preacher Curls 12 12      

Nutrition Information

Okay you're MASS BUILDING trying to add QUALITY MUSCLE MASS, not just WEIGHT. So you've got to take nutrition as seriously as you do when you CUT.

1) Calories:

Figure out your BMR by using the BMR Calculator.

The typical recommendation is add 500 calories to this number. But everyone is different, so I'm going to exercise caution here and ask you to add 10% to that number to get your Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE. If you find that your not gaining .5 to 1lbs of body weight each week, then you can bump it up to 15%.

So if your BMR is 3000 calories, add 300 calories to make your TDEE = 3300.

2) Macronutrient Ratio: 20-30-50

a. Protein: Protein should be 1 to 1.5 grams per pound of body weight.
i. Your weight X 1 = ____ grams Protein
ii. 200lbs X 1gram = 200 grams Protein
b. Fat: Fat should be about 30% of your TDEE.
i. TDEE X .3 = ____ Calories/ 9 calories = ____ grams Fat
ii. 3300 X .3 = 990 calories / 9 calories = 110 grams Fat
c. Carbs: Carbs should make up the remainder of your calories:
i. TDEE - Fat Calories - Protein Calories = Carb Calories
ii. 3300 - 990 - 800 = 1510 Calories/ 4 Calories = 377 grams Carbs

If you have any questions about nutrition planning ask in the nutrition section of the forum.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Why do you have to be 18 years old or have intermediate level training experience to do this routine?
    Because the routine uses near maximal weight, it's important that your body's growth plates have sealed. There have been several studies conducted on teen weight lifting that suggest that certain types of weight lifting may damage the epiphysis, or growth plate, of your bones. There is evidence that lifting heavy weight could speed up growth plate closure, which would stunt your growth. So if you are under 18, stick with the teenage training guidelines in this article. Intermediate level experience is a requirement because you have to understand how to logically increase the load you'll be using every week. Most people with 2 or more years of training experience know their bodies well enough and the weights they can handle to push their body to the limit and know what a logical increase would be. If you have no clue on how to set your own personal loading parameters for an exercise, you will not be able to perform this routine effectively.
  2. I thought working a muscle twice a week wasn't recommended for gaining mass? In the Intensity Dominant Phase you have us working each muscle twice a week and in the Frequency Phase it's 3 times a week, what gives?
    Because the total volume of work that is done per muscle group is decreased in both the Intensity Dominant Phase and the Frequency Phase you will be able to work your muscles twice or three times a week without entering an overtrained state. The workouts are spaced far enough apart to allow for proper recovery and if you are practicing supportive nutrition you should be able to make solid gains, even though the work volume is low.
  3. I don't have XX Equipment or Can't Do XX exercise, can I use a different exercise?
    Of course, just make sure you swap it with an exercise that is close to the movement of the original exercise. Switch compound movements for compound movements, not isolation exercises. Not sure which exercise to pick? Browse 600+ videos of different exercises organized by body part in the exercise videos section.
  4. After increasing the weight on a exercise I can't get the required reps, should I go back down to the previous weight?
    Absolutely not! If you want muscle mass you have to subject your muscles to an overload, so REGRESSING IN WEIGHT MOVED isn't going to help. Stick with the heavier weight and strive to do "One-More-REP!" the next time the workout is performed until you can reach the required reps. If you still can't get the prescribed reps you probably were a little aggressive in the weight increase. Try to jump up in weight in smaller increments.

This program was developed by Dave Herber

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About The Author
Dave is an ACE and NSCA qualified personal trainer with over 12 years experience helping his clients build muscle, burn body fat and reach their goals.

209 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 02/19/2013 - 12:13
matt

so for each set am i using the same weight as the set before

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Posted Tue, 02/19/2013 - 12:07
matt

hey steve,
so for everyday workouts are you staying with the same weight? like in week 1 day 1 it says to do barbell rows 10 reps first set, and then the same for the second set. so do you add weight for the second set or stay with same weight.
Thanks

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Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 16:49
Thomas

Thanks Joey.

Also do you recommend doing warm up sets before doing the sets/reps set out in the program?

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Posted Wed, 02/13/2013 - 03:51
Thomas

Do you recommend doing a seperate core workout along with this program because there doesnt seem to be many core movements?

Joey's picture
Posted Thu, 02/14/2013 - 15:35
Joey

Many of the compound movements actually hit your core pretty well, but you can add in abdominal exercises whenever convenient.

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Posted Sat, 02/09/2013 - 18:03
Sp2013

I'm a college student living in the dorm so don't have a big budget or the resources for a great diet what do you recommend

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Posted Fri, 02/08/2013 - 16:08
Peter

Im 15 years old and i have trained 2 months Fitnes and 2 years Street Fitnes, can i do this 12 week muscle gain program ?

mnsjason's picture
Posted Fri, 02/08/2013 - 18:19
mnsjason

As long as you've been given the thumbs-up by your doctor, absolutely. Just be sure that you're getting plenty of rest, and that your diet supports your activity level.

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Posted Sat, 02/09/2013 - 02:23
Peter

What should i say to the doctor ... ? and im doing only the program nothing else from this

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Posted Tue, 02/05/2013 - 12:02
Justin Herrera

Can I build muscle and get cut with this program if I add cardio and diet good? I'm 17 yet old 205 pounds 5ft 7

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Posted Mon, 01/28/2013 - 10:46
Peter

I am 15 years old ... can i do that program ? : )

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Posted Sun, 01/27/2013 - 22:24
tommy

would i be able to do this program if i have been working out for around 1 and a half years but am not quite 18??

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Posted Fri, 01/25/2013 - 23:18
Richard Taylor

Hi,
I like this program,
however for this program I don't believe I can lift 80-85% of my 1RM for more than 1 set of 8, How do you suggest I combat this for the weeks it requires the 8 reps? I'm good for 6 reps, but 8 is too taxing for 80%1RM, unless I'm throwing the weight up, then I'd get to maybe 3 sets, but this wouldnt be controlled
Can you help me out with this one?

Thanks

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Posted Fri, 01/25/2013 - 03:35
Rudolph

Hi ! I have a question,in the very first week of the routine,do i have to do the reps with constant weight ? Thx :)

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Posted Thu, 01/24/2013 - 12:19
gunner thorpe

Im 20 years old and weigh about 195. I was wondering would it be good to do some cardio and core? Also would it be good to use a fat loss supplement such as pro oxy elite or a protein supplement such as syntha 6?

mnsjason's picture
Posted Fri, 01/25/2013 - 18:23
mnsjason

Pending a doctor's approval, you can absolutely start a cardio/core program. The products you mention are quite reputable with some high customer reviews, so feel free to read those over. If your goal is fat loss, you may want to check out this article on the subject to get you heading in the right direction: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/expert-guides/fat-loss

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Posted Thu, 01/24/2013 - 11:09
gurpartap singh

sir, ihave 2 questions..
1) can i extend this 4 day a week workout to 5 days a week by splitting chest and shoulders exercise for two different days as my chest is too lean,as i heard more the pain more will u gain..
2) is their any diet paln too for this exercise schedule(for lean body).
i just want to add bulk to my body as i am very thin, i weigh 56 kgs and i am 5'9".

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Posted Sun, 01/20/2013 - 00:04
Harjit

Hi Steve, i am 40 years og age and am new to bodybuilding. I am 1.83m in height and weigh 87kg. I have a BMI of 26.8. Have also a beer belly that i wish to get rid off. I wish to build up mass and muscle. What would you recommend.

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Posted Tue, 01/15/2013 - 16:51
Sabe

Would I be able to do this work out with not working out since November of 2010? I'll be deployed. Will it be easy to most of the work out with what I will have?

What is a good basic protein and diet to help lose fat and replace with muscle?

Thanks.

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Posted Mon, 01/14/2013 - 23:41
Jay

I saw the question asked a couple times but couldnt find an answer in here. When the workouts have the 2a 2b or 5a 5b is that a superset or an alternating set like a's 1 week b's the next?
Thanks

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Posted Sun, 01/13/2013 - 18:12
Brad

Question regarding weight...

Example: volume week 1, should we do two sets of the same exact weight or increase the weight if we achieve 10 reps on the first set ?

Bench press:
Set 1: 225x10
Set 2: 225x10 or 235x amap ?

Obviously if we can achieve 10 reps of 225 for both sets we increase the following week, along with the reduction in reps.

Also assuming that 225 can be repped 10 times for two sets, out first set would not be to failure, we would be 'holding back' some to ensure a second set...

Can anyone clarify? I've always had the mindset of 12,10,8 with progressively heavier weight, leaving each set until near failure

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Posted Tue, 12/18/2012 - 09:56
Bryan Coleman

Can I add rest-pause to the last set to all the work outs?

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Posted Mon, 12/17/2012 - 15:58
Bryan

Hayy would it be cool to at Rest-pause to any of these weeks? like the first month or so?

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Posted Fri, 12/07/2012 - 11:06
Joe

Im now trying this routine im really excited about it cause after 3 years of hard work i havent even gain any good muscle gains, i just have a little doubt and its which days, how often, and wich excercises u recomend me to do for ABS trainning!!! THANK YOU!!!!!

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Posted Mon, 12/03/2012 - 16:17
Alex

Which assigned workout do I complete twice a week during the intensity phase? Day 2 and 3(chest&shoulders, legs)? I assume I would repeat those workouts on day 5 and day 6 of that week.

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Posted Mon, 11/26/2012 - 22:53
Rachit Arora

Do we have to take a break between the 4 days of working out in the Volume Phase or can we do all 4 days one after the other. For eg. if I start Day 1 on Monday, can I be done with Day 4 by Thursday or should I take a day off between day 2 and day 3?
Thanks.

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Posted Sun, 11/25/2012 - 22:38
Gabe

Hi on Friday you do arms than on Monday you do back and that includes the biceps, wouldn't that make your arms smaller because you worked them out to much in a short period?

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Posted Mon, 10/29/2012 - 08:45
Vaso

Hi Steve,
What does the AMAP mean?

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Posted Sun, 10/28/2012 - 19:08
Grant young

How Long will this workout take until you start seeing a mass difference? If I'm not soar the next couple days after does that mean the workout didn't do anything?

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Posted Tue, 10/23/2012 - 19:57
Blake

if we are limited on the machines we get to use and the weights in general is it ok to replace some of the exercises with a substatute?

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Posted Fri, 10/12/2012 - 14:43
Sam

For more focus on the lower chest, would it be smart to add decline bench press on chest day?

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Posted Fri, 10/05/2012 - 10:44
Karush

Hey man , i've done this workout programme for 5 weeks now and it's amazing, but i have a question what if i wanna continue with this sort of mass building, do i just start over from first week in the programme or do i do my own ? I really like the routines !!' :D

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Posted Wed, 09/26/2012 - 21:16
Herman

thanks :)

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Posted Wed, 09/26/2012 - 13:24
Herman

AMAP? what thats mean ?

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Posted Wed, 09/26/2012 - 15:30
Steven

As many as possible.

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Posted Tue, 08/28/2012 - 04:45
Mubarak

i like the look of this training program. can't wait to get started

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Posted Sat, 08/25/2012 - 20:24
Tyler

Hi,
Would it be a good or bad idea to vary routines by the week? I'm currently using the V.I.F. Mass Building Progam and was wondering if every other week I could throw in the 4 Day Power Muscle Burn Split routine, then continue back with the VIF the following week for muscle confusion.

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Posted Sat, 08/18/2012 - 09:10
Dave

Hi Dave here,

This workout really put me on the right track for muscle growth. I was about 157 lbs when i started (with a track n field body) and now i'm on my last two days of the v.i.f. workout. Currently 169-170 with more definition than i started out with. My goal is to reach 180 and keep my bmi fairly low(about 10 to 15%). I enjoyed doing this workout and all but I wanna know if there is a advanced workout similar to this or what I should start doing after this to reach my goal. Please help.

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Posted Thu, 08/16/2012 - 17:20
Lukas

So i switched it up a little bit on the arms day to get a slight bit a variety in the rep ranges (Just finished the second week)

Here's what it looks like:

1a: BB curls 3x8
1b: CG Bench Press 3x8
2a: DB incline curls 3x8
2b: Decline lying triceps extension 3x8 (I lower the weight behind my head and do reps that way til i can't do proper form then switch to normal skullcrushers to finish the set.....gets a really sweet burn)
3: 1 set of the biceps ladder as a finisher (http://www.muscleandfitness.com/videos/mf-raw/raw-training/mf-raw-43-bic...)
4: 1 set of the triceps ladder (http://www.muscleandfitness.com/videos/mf-raw/raw-training/mf-raw-3-tric...)

I use rest pause to crank out all reps on last set of each exercise besides the ladder exercises.

Can someone please let me know if this looks like an alright sub for the arm workout posted on here?

Thank you!

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Posted Mon, 08/13/2012 - 11:04
Joe

I am trying to lose a lot of fat and build muscle at the same time. I work out now at the gym and do about and hour of cardio and then lift monday thru saturday. I came across this work out and looks like this is what i am looking for. I am currently 6 foot tall 275 lbs. My goal is to lose the excess fat and build muscle and be tone and be able to see ther definition. Do you think that this workout plus still doing my cardio would be a good mix? would i see the results i am loking for?

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Posted Wed, 08/22/2012 - 15:29
Joey

Hey Joey,

Any proven routine will help you reach your goals as long as you focus on progression. However, if you are new to lifting I'd recommend a beginner routine.

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Posted Mon, 07/23/2012 - 23:57
BrenoHenrique

does it really work? thank you

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Posted Mon, 07/09/2012 - 12:29
Edward

Do I move from one set to next one or do all sets and than move to the next one?

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Posted Sat, 06/30/2012 - 09:41
emad

week 5 , day 2,3,4 , the exercises doesn’t reflect the muscle group title , i think its typo mistake

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Posted Sat, 06/16/2012 - 23:56
Jimmy

Is there an app I can download for muscle & Strength? Would be great to have Dave's V.I.F Mass Building Program workout program on my phone.

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2012 - 06:56
Nick

Hello Steve,

This program looks great! I plan on starting this today. Is there a recommendation on how often abs should be worked for this program?

Also, does it matter which days I do the workouts? Ex. Days 1 -4 will be Monday - Thursday. Days 1-3 in Phase 3 will be Monday - Wednesday then rest for 4 days. Would this work?

Thanks for your help.

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Posted Fri, 05/25/2012 - 14:03
chris

Steve

i am a little confused by the first phase. are we supposed to do as many set as we can past the 2 sets of 10 reps?

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Posted Thu, 05/24/2012 - 23:32
Jay

I like the layout of this program & am interested in giving it a go. But what are the loading parameters I should be using. I mean should I be starting out with a weight that is my 10 rep max, 80%, 75% of my 10 rep max??? An answer to this would really help out because there's no way anyone is going to go from doing a weight they can barely get 6 reps with for one or two sets to getting that same weight for 6 reps on 5 consecutive sets. Obviously I know you're not supposed to always succeed in your goal but someone may easily fail on week 2 of this program if their loading parameters are off.

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Posted Wed, 05/16/2012 - 14:09
Bubblah

I agree with Basil on the previous post.

Quote:
"In Intensity phase: Week 5 Day 2 the header says Chest&shoulder but leg exercises are written instead. In day 3 it says legs but shoulders and arms are given given. In day 4 the header is "arms", but again another group of leg exercises is given. Could you please make the right corrections, as I am about to start week 5."

Is it a mistake with the exercises or is it just the title that is wrong but exercises are correct for that week?? Let's hope the latter.

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Posted Thu, 05/10/2012 - 03:36
Basil

Hi,

In Intensity phase: Week 5 Day 2 the header says Chest&shoulder but leg exercises are written instead. In day 3 it says legs but shoulders and arms are given given. In day 4 the header is "arms", but again another group of leg exercises is given. Could you please make the right corrections, as I am about to start week 5.
Thanks